Thursday, December 13, 2012

For my mother-in-law

Dear Sue,

There isn't a waking hour that I'm not glad that I married your son. I keep forgetting that I get you as an added bonus.

When you make me something as brilliant as this wall hanging for my birthday:

Well, then, I'm extra glad I married your son. I absolutely love it!


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

It'a a very crochet Christmas!

I had a lovely 38th birthday last week. Spoiled with pancakes in bed after a sleep in, if you can qualify 8:30 as a sleep in! Felix gave me a new iron, which is just what I wanted/needed/whimpered for, and the kidlets gave me a new ironing board to match. The board is brilliant - the highest setting is too high to iron but it's perfect for sewing up seams. Just excellent!

On Monday night we set up the Christmas tree while watching "Home Alone", because Christmas movies are mandatory for such activities. We've never has a tree up, apart from a metal one that holds tea lights, so I was pretty excited.

It's teeeeeeny and pretty and I adore it. The kids love the bell ornaments and I have to keep replacing the silver one constantly.

Crochet baubles were a given, once I saw this pattern by Pip from Meet Me at Mike's. An easy follow and look how awesome it is! I'm planning another red, and two white. I figure four ornaments of each type seeing as there's only four of us. Logical? Not really, but it works for me.

Today the kidlets are in their pjs for the entire day due to diseased-ness (is that a word? It can be, right?) and I'm not too fab either. Marcus has sinus pain and is snuffling constantly, while Dot has THREE molars coming through. THREE.At the same time. 

It's times like these I regret giving up alcohol...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Almost there

Today I've started my final project for a customer this year. Bliss!

Once I've finished this cardigan I can work on my own knitting. I have so many half-finished projects that need finishing that I have a list.

Sadly, Felix's Butteryarn socks are next.

Nice pattern,  but her yarn? *shudder*

Monday, November 19, 2012

A pretty snoozy Sunday

Apart from getting up stupidly late for a Sunday, followed by nummy berry pancakes (thanks Felix!) it has been a pretty quiet day.

Train in to Morris & Sons, hanging out with Bec and looking at what the customers are knitting today.

First up, we have an odd rooster tea cosy from "Really Wild Rea Cosies" by Loani Pryor.

A hat and bootees set in Silk Garden - spoiled babies!

Little baby owlets. The epitome of squee.

Bec's amazing peacock granny square rug that she started today.

I was tempted by the Maya 8ply alpaca...

...but I held strong knowing I have another 85 gazillion WIP's at home.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Four good things

1. I went out shopping today, specifically to buy the gorgeous crocheted dress that's being sold in Coles of all places. It's completely sold out online but there were heaps at Burwood. I bought it in black and in white and made a brilliant discovery.

It's not crochet. 5 smugness points to Gryffindor!

2. My lovely friend Ros read my last post and suggested I try out her spare DyakCraft interchangeable needle set instead.

I haven't been brave enough to try them yet but they are the most beautiful needles I've ever seen. They're chestnut for mercy's sake!

I'm still not sure if I should thank Ros or be afraid.

3. My mum bought me a book of short stories but decided to start it herself (BIG surprise).Apparently it involves knitting, and Mum was telling Da and I that the first story was so funny, and how much she was enjoying it. Mum looked at me and said "Apparently she's a very famous knitter,  you've probably heard of her, oh what's her name again?". That's when I realised she meant Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

My mum bough me a Yarn Harlot book, but I don't think I'll be seeing it for a few days.

4. I'm blocking my cushion crochet, just in case you thought I'd forgotten it.

It will be a small cushion.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Not a new project

Another lovely day spent at Morris & Sons, chatting to customers and drooling over new books, new yarn and the KnitPro Rosewood set.

My birthday is at the end of the month, so hope springs eternal.

I accidentally opened up a crochet book, next thing I'm in the middle of a cushion for our lounge room.

I'm beginning to think the customer's enthusiasm is contagious.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ravellenic Games: Day 3 and 4

After a happy start yesterday, blocking my new beret, I sat down to knit up one ball of yarn for the jumper. It took all day. ALL day. It reached the point where I was up late trying to finish off the ball of yarn. I was almost there when Marcus woke up and I gave up.

Today I was going to sit down, finish yesterday's ball and start a new one. I had a delivery and a pick-up for the business, so that cut into my knitting time. Then the kidlets and I went for a walk. Can't knit while you push a pram, so that cut into my knitting time. Felix reminded me that I had a rug to crochet up for a customer, so that cut into my knitting time.

I was rather dispirited this evening, so I did the only thing anyone could do.

I cast on a hat.

As requested by a friend, here follows more photos of my lovely new beret.

A close up of the lace section.

A close up of the knitter, to give you all an idea of the size.

It's really huge, even for my huge head. Which is great, considering how often I wear my hair up.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ravellenic Games: Day 2

I took the train in to work, furiously working on a beret for myself. I entered the Hat dash competition, because I thought it would be fast and easy.

I really have to stop picking hats that are complicated.

Portia by Louisa Harding is a lovely lacey beret, and I only had to tink back on the lace once, which might be a record. I did misread during the decreasing which meant I added two rows I shouldn't have, but I pulled them back and kept going.

While it's blocking I only have a shot of the top, but that's enough to make me happy. You know why? I actually finished a Ravellenic Games project. In a day.

I'm surprised there aren't a choir of angels following me all day, singing the Hallelujah chorus. Perhaps they'll sing after I knit up another ball on my jumper today.

So, what else has been going on? Well, I had Dot cut some more teeth (I think I'm raising a baby shark), Marcus got a hair cut and the entire family went to the Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show.

Felix drove us up while I sat and knitted in the front seat, a cotton (bleurgh!) project sample for a customer. We got there at the same time as Dorothy's lovely godmother Joex who was on her first Wool Show trip. She even had a budget of $100.

Isn't that adorable?

I specifically took Felix with me to control the monies, and I was very VERY restrained. I made it out of the Show with only three purchases, for a total of 300g. VERY restrained.

I bought a skein of Road to China Silken Jewels worseted weight  in Blue Tourmaline.  The composition is 65% baby alpaca, 10% cashmere, 10% camel, 15% silk and 100% heavenly. The halo around the blue is a beautiful purple, so slight you have to squint to see it. Chantal tried to steal it, but now she's decided to get some into stock at Stitch Culture instead.

Stranded in Oz was at the Show, and I can't resist yarn with glitter in it. Oooo, shiny! I had to pick between the purple and the red, but the purple won out (big shock, I know). The yarn is called "Glinda the Good Wool" and it will become some bedsocks for me. Now that is a shock.

Lastly I hit the Shiloh stand and bought three balls of Silky Dream, which is the amazing Silky Wool (stretched merino) with Thai Silk added in. It's just gorgeous to touch and I'm planning a small cardigan for Dot with it.

Did I mention "restrained"?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ravellenic Games: Day 1

As I may have mentioned before, I have an addictive personality. When I like something, I really like something.* Sherlock Holmes, Anne of Green Gables, anything by Jane Austen, Jack the Ripper, alcohol and - of course - knitting. I've been addicted to all of these at one point or another, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. Unless you also have an overly competitive nature.

*waves* Helloooooo!

So when I saw the games previously known as the Ravelympics were on again, I thought "Oooo, no, bad idea. I've got two jumpers to knit for Andy, so no time left... Unless I enter them in the Sweater Triathlon..."

Good thing only one qualified. Yesterday morning I got up at 5:30 to watch the ceremony (Kenneth Branagh! Drool bucket please!) and cast on my new jumper when the flame was lit. Well, half an hour later, actually, but who's counting?

I managed to knit up a whole ball of yarn yesterday, 12cm of the jumper back done. Now, as the jumper only needs 14 balls I'll be finished before the end of the games, easy!

Well, I would be if only I hadn't joined the Hat Dash as well... Oops.

*Btw, to any guy I dated, I'm really really sorry. Except that one guy, you totally deserved the crazy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Seriously? Now?

I spent quite a chunk of today listening to Anne of Green Gables on my phone and knitting on my Lover's Lane beret. It was just perfect (if you ignore the children, obviously).

I'm up to row 22 and look! There's an obvious leaf! I'm pretty excited about how this knit is going, except for one thing.

Look at what my knitting is hanging on. That's our lounge room heater. It's not turned on.

It's broken.

It's winter, we're in a house with louver windows and the room we spend most of our day in has no heater.

Good thing we have lots of knitwear.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A walk down Lover's Lane

My Lover's Lane beret knitalong (KAL) began today. To describe me as excited doesn't quite cover it. I downloaded the Librivox version of Anne to listen to as I knit, I picked out two fabulous eggplant-y coloured yarns - a 4ply and a 6ply to make it up to worsted weight - and I cast on.

I went out to Chadstone to catch up with Chantal and drink hot chocolate at the Lindt cafe, so I took my new knitting with me. Finished off the ribbing and was pretty much stuck, but luckily we both had to leave anyway.

I was stuck because I'd left my mobile at home. So no Anne to listen to on the way there or back, no idea what the next row after the ribbing was, nothing. I drove home with plans to sit down and knit and knit and knit...

Marcus is awake. Marcus is not tired. Marcus won't let me knit. Marcus wants Wiggles. Oh, and my mobile.

I've finished the ribbing, and I think that's as far as I'll get tonight. Sick kids are the pits.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy baking!

Pinterest lied to me! I saw the hint that if you put a marshmallow on top of your cupcakes five minutes before they finish the marshmallow will melt, giving the cupcake a nice even gooey topping.

Do these look even to you? Me neither. Good thing they still taste okay!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back from the couch

Whew! What a weekend! I forced Felix to drive me to drop-offs and pick-ups just so I could go straight back to bed on Saturday, and I was so sick I couldn't even go to Morris & Sons on Sunday, so you can guess just how miserable I've been.

I did get a lot of knitting done on the couch, though. Since Thursday I've sewn up a cabled saddle shoulder ladies jumper (handed over Saturday), knitted the collar and sewn up a ladies cardigan (handed over Saturday)...

...added a neck placket and re-knit a collar for a kid's jumper...

...finished sewing up a Noro tunic for a Morris & Sons customer (after re-knitting from the basketweave down, plus the sleeves)...

...and cast on for The Boyfriend jumper. Not for myself, but for a customer. Thank goodness it's on 8mm needles and using two strands of 8ply, otherwise I'd run screaming.

Soon I'll be able to breathe through my nose again and all will be well!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The view from the couch

Another day in the House of the Undying saw Marcus get sicker, Dot become less snotty and Mummy and Daddy collapsing with alarming regularity. Every so often we'd have a burst of energy, rush and do something (housework, cup of tea, ice-cream run) and then we'd remember we were sick and have to sit down. Loads of fun.

Luckily for me the kidlets went off to bed early-ish so I've had a nice evening on the couch. Mostly I've been slaving away at a customer's cardigan (birthday gift for her daughter, due Saturday) but every four rows I put it down and pick up my Granny Poncho and hook up a quarter. Turns out chocolate isn't my reward system, crochet is.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy baking!

Due to Dot being renamed "The Snot Monster", Marcus never changing out of his pj's and Felix staying home inhaling tea all day baking has been cancelled for the day.

Instead I'm off to find some Demezin and a squishy pillow.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

My first big crush

It was July, 1987, twenty-five years ago. Can it really be so long? My whole family sat down to watch. The opening scene, then my sisters started quoted along with the show. "Willows whiten, aspens quiver..." I had no idea what they reciting, but I wanted in. Two days later my da bought me Tennyson's collected works and I caught up.

Welcome to my "Anne of Green Gables" addiction.

I own six copies of Anne, an Anne pop-up book, paper doll set, the dvds, the audio books, dolls, yarn and more. I loved the books so much for a while there I never read anything else. The television series was watched constantly, especially when I was unwell. I was sixteen and on the couch and I could watch the full 3.5 hours twice a day. With a large teapot beside me I was in heaven. I suspect my mother may have hated the mini-series after a while (except for the line "Mrs Hammond told me God made my hair red on purpose and I've never cared for Him since").

There's a few knits out there dedicated to Anne. "Green Gable" is incredibly popular, as is the "Anne Shirley" scarf. Nearly every knitter who's read the books has wondered how to make an apple-leaf cotton warp quilt, just like Mrs Lynde, and Franklin Habit made a Star Counterpane Block based on it at most desired is the blue cardigan from the mini-series.The number of whimpers when it appears on screen is ridiculous.

Last night while browsing Ravelry, a new shawl pattern was listed in the top 20 and it's name caught my eye straight away. "Call Me Cordelia" is an amazing shawl, and I might have to add it to my future knits list (plus, it's in purple!). The magic words "The second of my LM Montgomery inspired patterns." caught my eye and sent me off to look.

Anyone else want to join in a knit along for the "Lover's Lane" beret?

(First big crush? Jonathan Crombie, just like every other girl who watched the series. His successor was a cute guy on the cover of a knitting pattern book.)

Sunday, July 01, 2012

A lazy Sunday

Sunday is usually hectic for me. Get up, get dressed, take care of kids, grab Dot and head for 8:00am service, come home, late breakfast, get ready, head off to Morris & Sons.

Today, wake up at 7:00am, realise the headache is going to kill me, go back to sleep. Felix wakes me at 8:00, feeds me Panadol and a cup of tea and leaves me asleep until 9:00am, while feeding and dressing two kids. Beyond the call of duty? Absolutely.

I did make it in to M&S, full of tea and happiness. 12 degrees is brisk for me, and I had another great day at work. Best moment was when a customer asked me if I recognised a pattern and I could say "Oh, that's Bubbles! I love that!" Pulled the pattern up on Ravelry and she liked the third picture on display. Yep, the one by Andrea. My ego got a teensy bit bigger after that (it's almost grape size now).

Lest you fear I shall become big-headed with my new found awesomeness, I gift you a photo of how I repaired the hole in Felix's sock.

I tied a knot in it.

Friday, June 29, 2012

This week's knitting

Here's what I have:

Five headbands for a customer, with #6 being finished while I wait for my niece's debutante ball to begin tonight (they never start on time). I've also picked up three finishing projects to drop off next Saturday.

Dress? What dress? No idea what you're talking about...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hook-ing, not hook-...

Crochet is what I do when I want something made up quickly. I'm fast at knitting but I seem to be ridiculously fast at crochet. On the other hand, cut me in half and you'll read the word "knitter" running through me like rings through a tree.*

I suggested to Felix that he might need a hat with earflaps. The current weather is pretty terrible here in Melbourne, and now that he's growing his hair out I worry about him out in the early morning cold with wet hair. Yes, I am turning into my mother.

I chose the Granny in a Flap hat from UK Lass in US, and he loved it.I suggested grown up colours and he loved the idea even more. I then changed my mind completely and decided to make him a Turn A Square in greys instead. I'm not all that constant, really. The kidlets are now getting matching Granny hats, because I like torturing them. Dot pulls every hat off and Marcus just won't let me try to put one on his head, but I shall persevere. Because I like torturing them.

My next crochet idea is the Caracol's Granny Poncho in light grey and charcoal, with maybe some red in there. I have some grey pants with a red pinstripe, and I need to wear more handmade items to work on Sundays. Last week I wore the Elsie cardigan from Rowan "Vintage Style" and customers kept asking where it was from and how great it was and what a beautiful colour etc. It was pretty fun, actually. Now I need some 10ply.

If only I worked at a knitting store...

* Please don't cut me in half.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Baking!

Even when it's not Easter I could live off hot cross buns. However, I only eat them at Easter, because otherwise they're not special.

Of course, if you don't add the crosses, they're fruit buns. You can eat them anytime - yay!

(Psssst! If you would like to be very very lovely, please visit my profile here. Basically, I'm begging for votes for the Healthy Life Awards with Weight Watchers. Pretty please?)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Back on track (sorry)

Knitting on a train.

We shall now resume our normal schedule of staying up until 3am, knitting like a fiend possessed.

(Sorry my thumb looks so manky)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A knitting disaster

I'm still working away on the pink dress, with about two weeks to go. It's a hard slog mostly because I loathe the yarn. Still, money helps the world go round, so I'll just have to keep knitting. Except I can't.

Last night while I was chopping up an onion for dinner I slipped. At first I thought I was fine, but then the bleeding started. Not a big cut, but a bit deep.

About twenty minutes ago I settled into my seat on the train to head off to my Sunday job at Morris & Sons (I shall pause while you all squeal with jealousy) and I pulled out my knitting.

Do you know how useful your left thumb is when knitting? Especially the left side, where the cut is?

Until I can work out a way around this, I'm in pretty deep trouble.

Train trips are really boring when you can't knit.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

One day. Maybe. I'll get around to it.

I bought my knitting needle roll in 2003 when I first started going to a regular knitting group. After a few incidents of mistaken identity (someone else swapped their roll for mine as they were identical) I decided to make sure that never happened again.

Good thing about felt, you can embroider it.

Fast forward 9 years later and I finally added the needle size numbers inside.

When it comes to procrastination, I could play for my country, but only if I didn't have to do it right away.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I must be insane

Really, there's no other explanation for it. Why else would I tell the lovely ladies at Wondoflex that "Oh, sure. I'll knit on spec, certainly."


#$@&*%$& idiot!!!


Okay, a bit calmer now. In the meantime, I have a dress to knit. Yes, an actual dress. For an adult. It won't knit up on a knitting machine. It has taken over my life. Tomorrow I'm meeting a customer about a child's cardigan, and I just had a phone call about a few jumpers for a girl up in the country.

If you need me, I'll be knitting. A pink dress. A lot of pink dress.

(Yep, it's all my own fault and I shall never have a social life ever again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Has anyone seen my Adiposey?

I had my crochet in the front seat of the car, but then the car went all wobbly and I grabbed everything out of it in bags and now I can't find the bag that had my crochet and now I need to work on Felix's Adipose doll and I don't know where it is!

*deep breaths*

In other news I finished Marcus' green cardigan.

When we put it on him to take a photo Felix said "Look at Daddy's little Kurt Cobain!" which was both incredibly funny and somewhat accurate, Mr Cobain having been the sort to rock a cardi. Marcus failed to work out why we were laughing, but he seemed content to slob about in it for the afternoon (we couldn't take it off him without protests so we stopped trying).

I also realised that my new 4ply cardigan I started to knit for Dot will be far too small for her. Dot is somewhat... large for her age, and generally wears size 1, so I've frogged it back and started making her a new cardigan using bamboo/cotton blend.

It's a Hexagon Granny Cardigan and it is positively zooming into existance. I started this at 7:30pm last night and I'm onto the second half already. Mind you, I need to buy more yarn to finish it - at least another ball. Considering I'm using Moda Vera Bamboo Cotton the bank shall remain unbroken.

The Baby Cowboy boots were finished up on Saturday as well (day of the green cardigan) and they're just adorable. I adore them. They are to be adored. Possibly more so once they're on Dot, but I have no intention of waking her up just to take a picture. Feel free to sulk.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The good, the bad and the oops-I-started-another-project (or two)

First up, the good.

Dot's Baby Blu jeans, made from Knitty. I wish I could call them a fast knit, but considering they took over 9 months, I won't! Rowan Denim is fantastic when it's all washed and faded but I now have a set of bamboo 4mm with indigo staining.

I haven't managed to try them on her yet, but I need to make her a cowboy shirt first. Red, I think.

The bad? I had a beanie I made my da ages ago (a few years, we're talking) and all I needed to do was add a brim. Now, the beanie itself was far too deep, so I overlocked the edge to make it shorter. Let me repeat: I overlocked the edge. On a scale of 1 to stupid it was amazingly stupid.

When I came to the point where I needed to undo the beanie I still thought I could work it. This idea continued past the black and onto the white before reality kicked me in the head.

Would you want to wear a beanie with this many joins in it? Me neither, so it's frogged now, but I plan to purchase more Rare Yarns later and make it before winter kicks in too hard.

Dot likes it when I frog my knitting because she gets any of the scraps to play with!

As for the oops, I not only started the Adipose amigurumi for Felix, but also a 4ply cardigan for Dot and some crocheted cowboy boots to go with Dot's new jeans.

Mind you, I only started them two hours ago, so I might be able to finish something up this week!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

So close!

Look over there on the right at my "Works In Progress" section. Look at the percentages there: 95%, 5%, 95% and 95%. All I need to do to finish off Marcus' Green Jacket is add four buttons that I haven't been out to purchase. All I need to do to finish off the Garden Shawl is block it, which I don't plan to do until it's closer to Royal Melbourne Show time (ever the optimist). As for Baby Blu jeans, I need to sew them up, which won't take me too long.

So would someone please move the cat so I can actually finish them? She went to bite me when I tried.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Meet Snuffles (and his highly productive creator)

I was on Ravelry and spotted the perfect photo. It was cute, sweet and looked pretty simple. It was also amigurami, which I think means "Crocheted small things that make people squee". So I dropped my knitting, picked up the hook and made myself a dragon.

Meet Snuffles.

I adore him, 'nuff said. The pattern was beautifully written and so easy to follow. The only modification I made was to increase his wing size and add them to the back of him. His tail helps him stand upright and look adorable.

He's very adorable. Happy Year of the Dragon everyone!


I've been working hard on other projects. I finished up Cameron's birthday Van Halen cosy.

Now he can rock out with his beer all cosy. The very lovely Joex came and picked it up yesterday while dropping off a stereo for me to use in my sewing room (woohoo!) and mentioned that the previous evening she and Cam had been microbat hunting as a community project - catch them, tag them, release them sort of thing. Sadly, they didn't catch any, so I thought I might make it up to her as a thank you for the stereo.

An amigurama microbat is on its way to you today Joex!